Why No Windows 10 Upgrade For RT?

Terri is one of the people who purchased a Surface RT tablet and she’s not happy that it isn’t eligible for an upgrade to Windows 10. “I have a Tablet, Windows Surface RT & I believe I read some time ago on your site that Microsoft will not upgrade it to Win 10. Is this correct? If it is I think Microsoft is being unfair to the customers who bought these tablets in good faith & now will not get supported to upgrade. After all they were paid for & bought as a Windows machine so why not honour the upgrade across the board. I hope I am wrong as I do not get on with this tablet which has Win 8, but I do not see the icon to upgrade. Thank you for a great newsletter.


You are correct that Windows RT tablets won’t be upgraded to Windows 10.

Windows RT tablets won’t be upgraded to Windows 10 for two reasons. Most RT tablets wouldn’t have the technical capability to handle the full version of Windows. The hardware just wouldn’t support it. RT was designed to run a different operating system, a lighter version of Windows. RT tablets cost a couple of hundred dollars less that the Surface Pro which ran the full version of Windows. As it turned out, most people preferred to spend a couple of hundred dollars more to get a full Windows tablet PC that could run desktop apps instead of the RT tablet which can only handle the mobile-style apps.

Developers never stepped up to offer a wide variety of apps for RT tablets and other manufacturers stopped making them.

Since the RT tablets weren’t very popular, there were no new editions of the tablets manufactured and there is no Windows 10 RT. Instead, the full version of Windows ended up being licensed for smaller tablets and Microsoft concentrated on having one Windows operating system with universal apps that will work across multiple Windows devices.

When a brand-new product launches like the Windows RT operating system, there’s always a chance it won’t succeed. The few hundred dollars saved by purchasing RT tablets over the Pro version of the Surface, turned out not to be so much of a bargain to users in the end.

Microsoft did offer some updates to the Surface RT which did give the tablets some features associated with Windows 10. But since the devices weren’t running Windows 8 or 8.1 in the first place, but the paired down Windows 8 and 8.1 RT, they just aren’t capable of upgrading to Windows 10.

Now, that doesn’t mean support is ending for Windows RT. While there won’t be any new developments or features, security support will continue for 10 years from the time of release.

~ Cynthia

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